Index has joined 24 other NGOs to call for the release of Turkish novelist Ahmet Altan, calling his re-arrest “arbitrary and cruel”. Altan, a previous contributor to the magazine, was re-arrested a week after being freed from prison after more than three years in detention, an action the organisations have slammed as an extraordinarily low blow in a case dogged by political interference. Saying that his re-arrest is a form of judicial harassment, they are calling for his immediate release and the overturning of his conviction for “aiding a terrorist organisation without being its member”. Index and the others say that Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits all arbitrary deprivation of liberty, adding that Altan’s re-arrest and detention “gives every appearance of being politically motivated, arbitrary, and incompatible with the right to liberty under Article 5”. You can read the statement in full here.
Former police officer Harry Miller outside the High Court in London Credit: Dominic Lipinski /PA
This week, Index has provided a witness statement to a landmark legal challenge against guidelines issued to police forces across England and Wales on how to record “non-crime hate incidents”. The case against the College of Policing is being brought by Harry Miller, a 53-year-old former police officer who was investigated by police earlier this year after a Twitter user complained that he shared a “transphobic limerick”. He believes its Hate Crimes Operational Guidance impinges upon his right to free speech. Index chief executive Jodie Ginsberg said that while social media platforms had the right to set their own terms of service, the organisation was concerned at the way these could lead to posts being treated as potential crimes, even when the speech in question was lawful.
Index was delighted to be included in the British Society of Magazine Editors awards this week. It is a night when the country’s leading editors get together to honour the best in British magazines, and Index on Censorship editor Rachael Jolley was shortlisted in the category of Editor of the Year – Specialist. The magazine was also nominated in the Stack Magazine Awards, where Neema Komba’s story Let Them Eat Fruit Cake – about a soon to be bride whose single wedding day wish is not to eat fruit cake – was included on the Best Original Fiction shortlist.
Index on Censorship defends people’s freedom to express themselves without fear of harm or persecution. We publish censored writers and artists, monitor and campaign against censorship, and encourage debate.
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